The British government are continuing to do all they can to help with the situation in Ukraine, which this week involves saying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy can get a ‘sir’ in front of his name if he likes and someone has to live with Michael Gove. Not sure if those are the most helpful things but they’re definitely on brand with the government’s amazing ability to gift the worst thing possible. An interview free week this week, with a Ukrainer Explainer that may all be wrong.
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Hello and welcome to the Partly Political Broadcast, the comedy politics podcast that hopes to be a refuge for ears, but like the UK is actually far less hospitable than it should be. I’m Tiernan Douieb and this week as Housing Minister and wow you really fucked up that omelette Michael Gove says he would take in a Ukrainian refugee in his home, I ask: ‘HAVEN’T THEY BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH ALREADY?’
In these upsetting times, for those of us fortunate not to be living somewhere that is being bombarded by missile strikes, to know just how best to help the people that are. Donations? Spreading awareness? Just getting out of the way and not adding to the horrendous amounts of really shit hot takes? It’s not easy and so it makes sense that the people we elected to represent us, the British government, have struggled with just how to help the people of Ukraine too. Ukrainian President and the lead singer of Westlife looks tired Volodoymyr Zelenskyy addressed the British Parliament via video link and as many British papers pointed out, evoked both Shakespeare and Churchill because that’s how you appeal to a room filled with people who only respond to historical nationalism and theatrics about power mad leaders who talk in outdated language. It’s worth remembering again that Zelenskyy used to be a comedian and that’s why he no doubt saw an inebriated, inattentive, stupid audience and realised the only way they’ll pay attention is if he makes it about them and what they like. It was a very emotional speech, evoking the horrors he and his country had been subject to these past few weeks and the Ukrainian’s president’s pleas for more sanctions on Russia and a no-fly zone over Ukraine clearly cut through. Why else did the government go away, racking their brains for just how to help this country under-siege and decide that what is really needed was for Volodoymyr Zelenskyy to receive an honorary British knighthood. Yes, if only he had a ‘sir’ before his name and a pledge of allegiance to the Queen of another country entirely who may already be dead, then Russia would probably think ‘ah yeah we’d better quit this then’. Can you even imagine the benefits it would give Zelenskyy himself as he would be far more likely to be allowed into the UK if he was a sir, and would probably only have to work half time picking vegetables for a right to stay? What greater honour could there be than saying to a man who has stayed in his country as it is bombed and attacked to crap, and been an icon of bravery for much of the world, that in the British government’s eyes, he means the same to them as former Education Secretary and over chewed dog toy Gavin Williamson who failed the country’s children and leaked national security secrets. In fact, President Zelenskyy is now so revered by the establishment, he will be a knight right alongside the properly deaded but it’s hard to tell as he always looked that way Jimmy Savile, who everyone in Britain is very aware of indeed.
Of-course the British government haven’t stopped there with their aid during this crisis and have just announced that if you want to take in a Ukrainian refugee to live in your home, they will give you £350 to do so. So that should cover roughly one month’s heating bill which is handy. It seems unfair that it’s only £350 when the Conservatives get donated absolutely thousands just so someone can sit in one of their parliamentary Houses and don’t even sleep over. Ok, they do, especially in the Lords. That £350 is just for taking in Ukrainian refugees mind, as if you want to help someone out from another war torn place like Yemen or Afghanistan for example then that’s on you for being off trend. Even various cabinet ministers have said they might consider housing a refugee at one of their many, many homes, but you know it’ll largely depend on if people keep asking them about it and hopefully they won’t and won’t have to bother. It does really takeaway the goodwill gesture if, after escaping the Russian invasion and trekking for miles, you finally make it to the UK and find, oh no, you have to live with the Health Secretary and star of 80’s children’s series Bod Sajid Javid who keeps telling you that videos of Ukraine make him cry nearly as much as Allegra Stratton’s resignation did and how his dad drove a bus so that means he’s a real boy. Or imagine suffering the PTSD of war trauma and witnessing your home and friends being destroyed, then waking up in a big house to find Michael Gove is watching you sleeping again while rubbing his face and secreting goo, because he definitely does that. The biggest flaw in yet another government plan that seems to be ‘we can’t be bothered so if you really care about it, you do it’ is that even if you are able to and have the space to house a Ukrainian refugee, which is great if you can, then chances are very slim they’ll actually make it over anyway. So far the Home Office efforts have meant the 50 people they accepted visa applications for, has risen to 3000, so that only leaves 22,000 who’ve applied which is the sort of success rate you’d definitely not get made ‘Temp of the Week’ for achieving. From this week, anyone seeking refuge in the UK from Ukraine will no longer have to get their fingerprints and photos done before travelling to the UK and can complete their application once they arrive here, which will give them a chance to realise they’ve made a terrible mistake and should’ve gone somewhere with empathy and human kindness instead. It’s also been extended so it’s not just immediate family members of British nationals or Ukrainians with settled status who can apply, but now you don’t have to have any ties to the UK. Though let’s face it, if you have family here, they’ve probably already warned you that it isn’t worth it unless they’re really desperate to get Covid and have three jobs just to turn the lights on occasionally. There is apparently no cap on the amount of people from Ukraine that will be helped by the scheme but it’s a bit like saying ‘yeah just let yourself in’ then conveniently forgetting to unlock the doors or give them directions to get there. The one caveat is that British people who want to sponsor a refugee have to name them. Which is pretty dehumanising as they’ll already have names. They’re people not pets, FFS.
Thing is all of that comes in this week which means the 22,000 who’ve already applied aren’t covered by it and have been stuck in Northern France and were told to take a train to Lille that didn’t exist to a processing centre that was a pop-up like it’s some Shoreditch novelty. You have to wonder if this is why the Krypton Factor was rebooted, so it could be shown in other countries as an example of just what it’s like to seek asylum in the UK. Who knows, perhaps there is some weird shortcut where if you find an old mage and collect the ingredients for his soup he’ll give you a special key? Or maybe if you solve an ancient riddle and get past the Sphinx then you’ll discover a safe passage that wasn’t there before?
According to a leaked email, a Home Office memo was sent early on the Ukraine crisis that set out that the Home Secretary Priti Patel, who can only feel warmth when hanging around a crematorium, did not have the priority of providing safe haven, but to protect the security of the United Kingdom. Yes, because nothing poses a threat quite like people who’ve travelled for miles to seek safety from an invasion and are even willing to live at Michael Gove’s house which I’m certain is just a giant cocoon. It’s always been an odd notion that those in need of refuge might be a threat as though the best way to inflict harm on the UK is by risking your life in a dingy then spending years in a detention centre with all the hospitality and service of Guantanamo Bay while being paid £8 a week to get by and not being allowed a job. Yeah, that’ll defeat the West, they’ll crumble at the very idea someone has seen Papillon and thinks actually that’s the life I want. It doesn’t say a lot for the nation if our biggest concern is being undone by a child that’s witnessed crimes against humanity. Then again, maybe the issue is they’ll know what to look out for when they get here and might ruin it for the government. Leader of the Liberal Democrats, if you can remember who that is. Can you? Go on try. Bit like a misfired Toby Jug. Yes that’s it, well done, Ed Davey. He’s, oh you’ve forgotten him again. Never mind. He is calling for Priti Patel to be sacked over her handling of it all, but what he’s not realised is that means someone’s got to be brave enough to tell her she’s been sacked and god knows what she’d do to them. Does the buck really stop with her, especially when she’d get someone to turn the buck around way before it got even close and probably at Calais? Or does it stop with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a man who if he was a building, probably an old shit filled barn, would be condemned and demolished because it would be widely decided it wasn’t in any condition to be of any use for anything. He is ultimately in charge of all these decisions even if that has always been much like leaving a troll in charge of your goat herd.
So of course, it’s all too little, too late as that relates to every aspect of his life, except likely shagging where it’s almost certain he’s too little, too early regardless of what his paramours say in order to secure funding for their start-ups. Johnson finally announced last week a handful more sanctions on oligarchs with connections to Putin, kindly giving them enough time to move all their assets to offshore tax havens. It’s very much closing the stable door once the horses have gone to the Cayman Islands. Billionaire and Limmy character Roman Abramovich is one of seven who’s had all his assets frozen, which includes Chelsea Football Club, meaning that no new tickets can be sold to their matches. Luckily the last two years mean they’ll be used to playing to empty stadiums and with Covid making a strong reappearance this week it just means they’ll be ahead of the curve. Foreign Secretary and Chuck in the Angry Birds game Liz Truss gave a big speech in Washington DC saying that they must never again allow aggression like that of Russian President and reconstituted chicken nugget Vladmir Putin to grow unchecked, though that would require people like her to be aware of anything outside of her phone’s front facing camera. Truss called for an end to the era of complacency before she no doubt posed for a photo shoot and congratulated herself on saying words.
All this talk is one thing and one thing that the government always do, but salon Ewok and owner of the Evening Standard Evgeny Lebedev is still a peer in the House of Lords, even though British intelligence services have been warning about him being a security threat since 2013. Boris Johnson ignored those warnings, probably because anything marked with ‘intelligence’ likely intimidates him and made his pal that invites him to big parties in Italy, a Lord anyway. Evidence has been revealed that make it seem Lebedev was influential in getting Boris Johnson and Michael Gove to back the Leave campaign although for the Prime Minister it probably just required saying ‘you’ll get to stand by a bus’ and that was enough. Despite his father being a KGB agent, Boris Johnson having meetings with him without any security protocols and his insistence that the poisoning of Putin’s enemies was actually done by MI6, Lebedev says he’s not a security threat. Which I mean, let’s be fair, he’s not a refugee trying to seek asylum in this country, so I guess he definitely isn’t under the home office definition. Michael Gove has defended Johnson’s relationship with the Evening Standard owner and says that no one raised security concerns with him. No of course not, because that’d mean they’d have had to talk to him and why would they put themselves through that?
It’s not just Ukrainians who are being affected by this war, oh no, according to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the sort of man who took a briefcase to school instead of a lunchbox, he says Russia’s invasion means economic uncertainty for the UK. Shit, just when we were doing so well. What terrible timing right? UK is facing the biggest income squeeze in 50 years, but hey I guess even the economy needs a hug sometimes too right? According to Sunak this is definitely because of this war and not at all to do with letting a ton of pandemic fraud off the hook or having spent all their money on a shit track and trace system or PPE that didn’t work. Not sure what’s happened with that money that went missing but obvs it was just a flash in the pan compared to this thing that’s happened after we were told about all the added costs weeks ago. But national insurance still has to rise because otherwise how else will the government pay people to take refugees into their home that won’t be able to get there in the first place?
The Spring Statement is going to take place on March 23rd, because as we know that season is for bringing new life and the Chancellor has to be sure to offset that too. There are concerns Sunak will announce cuts to their green taxes plan, which will really throw off Putin as there’s no point in him firing nukes when we’re actively killing ourselves off anyway. Supposedly, to end a reliance on Russian oil and gas, there needs to be a return to fracking which also doesn’t end a reliance on oil and gas but will cause earthquakes so I guess no one will want to drive in those so will cut petrol use. Ideally the best thing would be to invest in green energies like wind but then it will make those big generators that are noisy whereas drilling massive holes in the ground over many years for little return should be fine. In order to thwart further efforts by Putin to poison any of his enemies in the UK, the government are also considering once again allowing the use of pesticides that are banned in the EU, so we can all poison ourselves first. Ha, take that Putin. You can’t get us if we’re already dead. Winners! The UK have apparently discussed oil stability with Saudi Arabia because what better way to show your opposition to violent autocratic regimes than by siding with a different one? Saudi Arabia did 81 beheadings on Saturday last week, exceeding the death sentences they did in all of 2021 which isn’t really the sort of record you want to boast about. Yes, we’re number 1 for barbaric ancient punishments! I hope the British government are talking about price per barrel with them, rather than per head or it’ll be a lot more expensive.
In Ukraine, the Russian invasion has again stepped up with increased attacks on Kyiv and last week, the bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol killing a number of children and injuring many more. Which is a definite war crime and just so depressing and horrible. Russia apparently asked China for military help and the US have warned Beijing that there will be consequences if they do, but China accused the US of spreading disinformation and Russia said they never asked China in the first place. It’s tricky isn’t it because Russia also said they definitely wouldn’t invade Ukraine. So all we need now to know if they did or didn’t ask China is for Boris Johnson to make a comment about how he’s not aware if they did and we’ll know it occurred. The UK government have said they’ll help fund the International Criminal Court in investigating Russia’s war crimes and I hope they do rather than say, offer to lend them Sue Gray so nothing gets done for months.
More and more international figures have been speaking out against the invasion, with cosplay of Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast, Pope Francis, asking Russia in the name of God to stop the massacre, because as we know nothing helps like thoughts and prayers. And a knighthood, obvs. While in the UK, man who always looks like a cartoon sad banana Prince William said its normal to see war in Africa and Asia, but very alien to see a war in Europe like this. Yes, that’ll be because all the Europeans usually fight in Africa and Asia. I mean, it’s not stealing if they just take stuff from themselves, is it? Still, we can’t criticise Wills can we because by allowing President Zelenskyy to honorarily pledge allegiance to his grandmother, he’s already done more than enough right?
In other news, the High Court have said the Met Police acted unlawfully in blocking the vigil for Sarah Everard, saying the Met’s actions were not in accordance with the law, which does seem to be their thing at the moment and very at odds with the job. This was their decisions that lead to the cancelling of the vigil and not their behaviour towards protestors that gathered anyway, though I’m not sure legally where you stand if the people saying you can’t protest as it would be illegal were also being illegal and then you protest but you’d hope it all sort of cancels each other out.
Former Commons Speaker and several of the characters from Wind In The Willows all at once John Bercow has been found to be a serial bully and a liar by an independent inquiry. So I assume it’s any day now before he’s back in the Commons with a new job in the Home Office.
And lastly, guess who’s back, back again, yes, its Covid which seems to be competing with Batman movies for number of unwanted and unnecessary reboots. Infections are rising again across the UK and the office of national statistics say it’s too early to say why. Yeah it is weird. Guessing its not the lifting of all restrictions and everyone’s booster jabs waning then? I’d almost bet money that we’re days away from it being down to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This time it’s a new variant of Omicron called BA2 but Health Secretary Sajid Javid says the government have no concerns at all. Which, yes, has been very much the issue we’ve had since March 2020. So that’s pandemic, war, pandemic, I’m holding out for it being Godzilla next and somehow that meaning that all of us in the UK will have to pay more for prescriptions while the government decides that rather than curbing nuclear waste dumps into the sea building a Cyber-Godzilla to minimise destruction.
Hey you. It has been a sunny spring day here today and I am feeling bizarrely better about everything because of it, even though, obviously, everything is terrible. It is amazing how much the sun has an impact on wellbeing. I mean the one in the sky, as the newspaper one I think, has the exact reverse effect and is therefore completely misnamed. I had an exciting week last week as the script that I mentioned in last week’s show, was for an explainer animation on the situation in Ukraine, to go on a pretty big internet content channel. It went up for approximately 3 hours and then was spammed to hell and back by what were likely Russian bots and the heads of the company panicked and pulled it. So, I think that means I’ve been cancelled now right? And I can go on a 400-date tour and get interviewed on every TV show talking about how I can’t say anything to anyone apart from everything I’m saying on the TV show. I’ll just wait for this career to kick start any minute now. Sadly, it was just a historical explainer but obviously it’s such a volatile situation that anything online about it is instant bait for grim comments and spam links. I also went to see my Nan last week and she told me that her dad was born in Kyiv, but had Russian on his passport, which I don’t think she’d told me before. Or more likely did and I absolutely didn’t pay attention. Still though, that was cool to find out though my wife pointed out that doesn’t mean all the current news is about me. Which is fair. And no, I can’t start up a donations link or anything like that. It’s funny isn’t it because I wholeheartedly respect anyone that can put up refugees in their own home and I wish I had the space to do it myself, but also, if we lived in a country that didn’t have such a shitty inhospitable attitude, no one would have to. It’s a bit like when everyone got praised for volunteering for the NHS during Covid, which again, was great. But if the NHS had just been properly funded, staff properly paid and a ton of staff didn’t leave due to Brexit, then no one would’ve had to. Or the way the Tories always praise foodbanks and yes, it’s great someone is running them but really, they really shouldn’t ever have to because ideally, everyone would be able to afford to eat. It’s like getting praised for completing the Squid Games challenges that you only had to do because you’d be killed if you didn’t.
Thanks for being here yet again. No interview this week because I haven’t had any time to fit one in and that’s a clever way to disguise that no one responded to any of my emails. Next week is likely going to be the same so instead you’ve got what I call, a ‘Ukrainer Explainer’. Hopefully it will be of some use to someone, somewhere. It is very hard to know where and what to talk about with the situation in Ukraine because it is constantly changing or really, getting worse. Thanks to Steve on the FB group who’s suggested I try and get someone to talk about the UK’s overall immigration policies which would be good. And I am trying to find someone. Ideally, I’d love to talk to someone about exactly what all the Russian donations from oligarchs to the Conservatives mean but so far the small amount of people doing that journalism are, well, very busy. I have just ordered Oliver Bulloch’s book ‘Butler To The World’ and he did get back to me on Twitter so would be brilliant if he has time to chat, but I have a feeling he won’t as his book is published at a frighteningly prevalent time. Almost mysteriously convenient you might say? Maybe I should write a book investigating the timing of his book? No, I am of course being silly. I can’t write a book, far too busy.
So, cheers for you know, being you. Never change eh? And please do donate to this show if you can and have already donated to the 400 more important causes out there. You can of course do that at ko-fi.com/parpolbro, or patreon.com/parpolbro. And you know, review the show or just tell other people about it or, I dunno. I think that is it isn’t it? I’d like to think of something more interesting you could do, like whisper the RSS feed into the clouds on a windy day so that they travel across the lands landing into people’s phones but apparently that’s not a thing that works so maybe don’t bother.
Right, have this then:
I’m not sure if you know this but as well as the invasion of Ukraine, there is…hang on, let me just do the voice I imagine people do when typing things on social media… there is ahem hm, an invasion on the truth. I’m sure that’s what they sound like. But really though, much like everything that’s happened in the last 20 years, the internet is spewing up a lot of un-factual vomit about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and as is also always the case, many dosh chasing newspaper columnists are scooping up that vomit and using it to write lengthy pieces with even though it must really stick between the keys of their keyboard. What is the truth though? I mean does anyone know anything ever? Who’s to say that this isn’t Russia invading Ukraine but a bunch of aliens in disguise as people attacking a bunch of AI disguised as people and we’re all involved in part of a 400 year intergalactic war? No one’s actually said that online because instead all their weird conspiracies are boring. By the way this isn’t really an aliens vs robots war. That won’t happen for at least another three years. Here’s some ukrainer explainers. And I should say, this also might be wrong. I have, as internet idiots say, ‘done my own research’. But by that I mean read a lot of explainers and checked it and its really not that hard as long as you don’t just go immediately to a YouYube video by someone who drinks their own urine and insists they know the facts because they saw them in a fever dream. So if any of this isn’t quite right and you know so, WELL THEN YOU’RE WRONG AND WORSE THAN HITLER. Sorry, I mean, drop me a line and I’ll correct next week.
Is Ukraine full of Nazis?
You might remember that Putin with his swole face said that he had to denazify Ukraine which was part of his reason for invading. Zelenskyy retaliated by pointing out that he’s Jewish and retaliated by asking how a country that lost 8 million people in WW2, many in the Holocaust be Nazis? Which is, you know, a pretty valid point. But that hasn’t dissuaded some people online from saying ‘but Ukraine is full of Nazis you know.’ And the thing is, it is. Well, it’s not. It’s not ‘full’ of Nazis. But there are a few, because it’s a predominantly white country in Europe and so that’s very much depressingly on brand for the 21st century. There is a neo-Nazi group military group called Azov who love the fighting because they Nazis and they’ve very worryingly been integrated into the Ukrainian armed forces. But hey, which Western army in the 21st century doesn’t have Nazis in it, amIright? What is it about carrying a weapon, violence and nationalistic pride that attracts supremacists to the army I wonder? Really odd. Azov also, for a while, had an MP in Ukrainian parliament till 2019. But what Western democracy in the 21st century doesn’t have a Nazi in government, amIright? I wonder what it is about power structures that attracts supremacists to parliament? Really odd. There are currently about 1000 Azov members and they are a scary bunch, with their own children’s training camps where presumably songs about rainbows are really watered down, and they’ve been linked to some grim vigilante shit where anti-fascist demonstrations, foreign students and Roma citizens among others have been attacked. Human Rights Watch said in 2012 that Ukraine was endemically racist, so us here in Britain are basically their twinsies.
But, and it’s a big but, hee hee, far-right parties did pretty badly in the 2019 Ukrainian elections and a far-right march in Kyiv in January alarmed a majority of citizens who were very and publicly worried about it. So yes, there are Nazis in Ukraine, and any Nazis is too much Nazis, but Ukraine is by no means any more Nazi than well, anywhere else in Europe. Or the US. Or you know, Russia which is currently illegally invading a country with tanks bearing a big Z which is basically half a swastika isn’t it? I’m sure that’s how Sesame Street taught it anyway. No I won’t sing the song.
Is this NATO’s fault because of the European expansion?
This may blow some minds out there, but it’s entirely possible to think Russia are doing an awful, awful thing AND that NATO aren’t really a great bunch of people. I mean, sure, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation formed to stop Germany or the Soviet Union doing more war after the Second World one, because back then trilogies and reboots weren’t as cool. But after the Cold War and in more recent times for me or for young people ancient times, NATO have done some really the opposite of great military interventions. Just look up Bosnia and Herzegovina or Kosovo, or the more than 1000 civilians NATO strikes killed in Afghanistan or the multiple cases of civilian harm that NATO were found to be responsible for in Libya. In fact, don’t look them up, they are all miserable and no one needs that right now. Quick, go look at some pictures of otters holding hands. Better? Good. Right now back to NATO. They are a big military alliance. If you’re one of those idiots like me who has these weird ideas that maybe we could all get along without the death and war bit, then their current existence as a big old force that runs around saying ‘hey you hurt one of our gang, then we’ll bomb your kids’ doesn’t sit that nicely on my plate. But.. yes I said but again, so many butts. But it seems it’s not at all right to say this Russia invasion was provoked by NATO.
Sure Russia have been pretty unhappy with the idea of NATO expansion since the 90’s, but a number of experts say even though Putin said this invasion was about NATO it isn’t entirely about NATO, because otherwise Russia would’ve reacted this strongly to the massive eastward NATO expansion in 2004. Or Ukraine announcing it wanted to join NATO in 2002, or Ukrainian president from 2005-2010 Victor Yushchenko saying throughout his time in the big house that he wanted to join NATO. And it a NATO membership wasn’t even on the cards for Ukraine in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea and kicked off the War in Donbas. In fact, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine now makes Ukraine joining NATO more likely, because prior to this Russia’s ally in Hungary Viktor Orban would probably have tried to have blocked any membership attempts while France and Germany weren’t keen on other soviet states joining either. But now it looks far more likely they will join, depending on what happens next of course. And that Finland want to join too. Basically, Putin’s been such a dick of a neighbour everyone else wants to join the neighbourhood watch and is prepared to put up with the shit awful monthly newsletter to do so.
So why did Putin invade Ukraine?
Well, as you probably heard in the interview with Anna Reid, as boring as it is compared to alien invasion, global conspiracy jams, it seems Putin wants Russian expanision, and he thinks having a democratic society on his doorstep may threaten his authoritarian vibes. I mean, back to the neighbours analogy, everybody needs good neighbours. No wait, sorry. I mean if you see the people next door are having a great time, whereas in your home they’re beating up gay people and poisoning your political opposition, you’d probably get pretty down about your situ.
Is this war illegal?
Yes, entirely. Even though it’d be nice to think all wars should be illegal, god there I go again, why don’t I just go hug a tree or something? Oh god. Russia’s invasion is illegal under contemporary international law. Bit like the invasion of Iraq really. Or the Saudi intervention in Yemen. And as with both those cases there are harsh global penalities to pay for embarking on an illegal…oh. Oh no. This invasion wasn’t in self-defence, even if Putin says it was. And it definitely wasn’t sanctioned by the UN Security Council authorising the use of force.
Is this the first conflict in Europe in our lifetime?
No, you fucking idiots. I mean yes, if you’re like, what, two years old? But if you’re Prince William’s age for example, 39, which is younger than me but hahah I still have hair, then there was the Romanian Revolution, the Croatian War of Independence, the Georgian Civil War, the Bosnian War, the East Prigorodny Conflict, the war in Transnistria, the war in Abkhazia, the Chechen Civil War, the Russian constitutional crisis, the Kosovo War, the insurgency in the Presevo Valley, the war of Degestan, the Second Chechen War, the War in Ingushetia, the Russo-Georgian War, Insurgency in the North Caucasus, South Kyrgyzstan ethnic clashes which yes ok is actually in Asia, no you shut up, and the Russo-Ukrainian war which is what’s happening now but really started in 2014. And all of that has happened in your lifetime. And that’s just Europe, well and a bit of Asia, and not even taking in all the other ones around the world particularly in the Middle East but I guess its hard when you’re royal to find time to get a servant to sit and read you through what might be happening anywhere else in the fucking world when you’ve got to keep spawning out children and pretending you don’t know your uncle is a massive paedo.
Don’t the left support Russia though?
Who? Who are these people that supposedly exist? There is a narrative, because there always is, that certain left wing political factions support Putin because they don’t like Nato going round killing civilians so it must mean they play for the other team rather than, you know, think both are bad. Yes, I bet you can find several on Twitter because every sort of shitshow exists there. And yes, I mean sure, there was a picture of the former Labour leader who is now not the Labour leader at all and why are you still bothered by him, on the backdrop of Newsnight which made him look like he was wearing a Russian hat, so that must mean he and everyone he’s involved with Putin and loves him and wants to kiss him which incidentally he’d hate and would have you arrested for. And all that is totally unlike the Conservative government who ARE FUNDED BY MONEY FROM PUTIN’S FRIENDS and have a media room paid for BY PUTIN’S FRIENDS and MADE ONE OF PUTIN’S FRIENDS A LORD and WOULDN’T LET ANYONE INVESTIGATE RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE IN THE ELECTION. But yeah, that hat right? Also, Peter Mandelson who’s the fucking war loving, Epstein friendly spectre that is now advising Keir Starmer, is also big pals with Evgeny Lebedev but I’m sure that’s fine.
Weren’t you on Russia Today?
Yes. Twice, back when I had zero idea that Russia Today was a Russian state service. I was told ‘oh it’s like the BBC for Russia’ and at the time, around ten years ago though ‘oh that’s cool’. Then when I went on I got a bit suspicious when they said I could joke about anything I liked, except Russia. Then I did it a second time and was told I’d be on a topical satirical bit and instead they put me in front of an international broadcaster who asked me serious questions about Julian Assange which I had no clue about and tried to be funny, failed, they quoted me online and I got trolled loads. And I didn’t get paid either time. It was terrible. Oh and I did get offered really, really good money to do this show on Sputnik Radio but I turned it down because I’d learned by then and my stupid morals always make me poor. Like when I turned down a £10k advert for a pepperami style sausage because I’ve been a lifelong vegetarian. And then the next day couldn’t withdraw any money from the bank because I’d gone too far into my overdraft. YES MAYBE I’M AN IDIOT but I doubt it’d have made any difference. I mean, look where being paid by Russia Today for years has got Jonathan Pie? Oh, the NY Times. Oh well.
DISINFORMATION AND MISINFORMATION
There is tons of disinformation and misinformation about what’s happening in Ukraine. The difference btw is that disinformation is deliberately fake or wrong info, whereas misinformation is a character created by Roger Hargreaves as part of the Little Miss series. Er, sorry, I mean it’s info that someone doesn’t know is wrong because they’re an idiot. There are loads of good tips to check if what you’re seeing is real, fake or just from a completely different thing altogether and posted by an idiot. One video that was seen nearly 200,000 times just on Twitter, supposedly of bomber jets flying over Ukraine, was actually footage from an airshow in 2020. I don’t know if they edited out the ‘will you marry me’ in cloud writing because that might’ve given it away. You can reverse seach an image, you can hit right click on an image and click ‘search google for image’ and it’ll tell you if its been used before and there are ways on other search engines too but I don’t know what those search engines are or who actually uses them. Bing? No mate, that’s a Cbeebies rabbit. He’d be shit at fact checking, he can’t even eat an ice cream without dropping it or pissing himself. The five pillars of factchecking are provenance – where did it originate from? Source – who made the original? Date – the upload time may be different to when it was posted. Location – is the image geotagged and is it the same place it says it is? Motivation – can it do star jumps at 8am? No, sorry I mean, what made the person who made this source do it? I know all of that is an effort when you just want to hit the share button but worth a quick check before you find out that instead of a video of ‘crimes against humanity’ you’ve once again just sent everyone a picture of you dancing at that wedding. Which was indeed a crime against humanity but doesn’t really help right now.
Was that right? Or am I just a mouthpiece for er, my brain, which is influenced by reading erm, things from everywhere dammit. But look, if I’ve got that wrong and actually there’s been no wars in Europe since 1982, or actually this whole invasion of Ukraine is legal and because the country is one giant Nazi Godzilla that may well rise up from the Earth and do giant destructive goosesteps till Putin stops it, then do let me know and I will happily stand corrected. Or more likely sit corrected as its far more comfortable.
And that’s all for this week’s Partly Political Broadcast podcast. Ta loads for subscribing, listening or just sitting next to someone on the bus that was playing this loudly enough for you to ear steal its content and if you liked what you hearded then please consider telling other people to wrap some headphones around their noggin and give it a try too, maybs even donate to the ko-fi or Patreon and should you be so inclined, why not even give the show a 5 star review at Apple Podcasts or somewhere similarly overly full of the same 5 comedians doing endless shows about their favourite lamppost or something.
THANK YOU to Acast, my brother the Last Skeptik and Kat Day.
This will be back next week when the UK government announces that in order to help Ukrainian refugees there will be no restrictions on entry though each person will have to collect a star from inside a container of scorpions that is suspended above a basin of muddy water and once the star is collected they will go into an audience vote from which only one will go through.
This week’s show was sponsored by Michael Gove’s Hostel, a welcoming place for all who need it, named after the hit 2005 film which is one of his favourites and which he calls ‘aspirational’.